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First Descents

I Remember Rachel for Her Ferocity for Life, Not Cancer

Benjamin Rubenstein | Posted 06.22.2015 | Healthy Living
Benjamin Rubenstein

Now eight years after college I wonder if I could I ever do what Rachel did -- live with cancer without any possibility of a cure, all while never letting up on exclamation points?

"Take Off Your Hair" at a Cancer Retreat This Summer

Joy Huber | Posted 07.20.2014 | Impact
Joy Huber

With Memorial Day just around the bend, the kick-off to summer is here! If you or someone you know is facing cancer, or even has been through cancer treatment in the past, there are gatherings and retreats for you to also make plans to attend.

Love and Rock Climbing

Benjamin Rubenstein | Posted 11.11.2013 | Healthy Living
Benjamin Rubenstein

I choose my approach and make three quick moves to reach a safe height, and feel my rope tighten again. I breathe deep while Pumba is losing her breath cheering for me.

Letting Go of Fear: How Risking My Life on a River Helped Me to Live Again

Shelley Nolden | Posted 05.20.2013 | Healthy Living
Shelley Nolden

I yearn to scream, yet I must hold my breath. Even if I were to open my eyes, I would see nothing. I'm suspended in a vortex that overpowers my senses. I don't know which way is up. I have 45, maybe 60 seconds to figure it out, or I will die.

The Pursuit of Happiness: You Are Not Your Cancer

Woody Roseland | Posted 03.31.2013 | Healthy Living
Woody Roseland

Cancer patients tend to bond with the pain they've gone through. They identify with their greatest pain because it's also their greatest victory. But you are not the car you drive, you are not how much money you have in the bank, you are not your khakis, and you are not your cancer.

Life on Planet Cancer

Beth Pointer | Posted 03.12.2013 | Healthy Living
Beth Pointer

I am an alien -- any young adult who has gone through cancer is. But being at First Descents was the first time in the last year that I felt like maybe I wasn't alone on my planet.

5 Reasons Why First Descents Should Be Called F'in Dynamite

Craig Stein | Posted 02.11.2013 | Healthy Living
Craig Stein

Missing a leg from extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma? A colon from adenocarcinoma? The ability to walk from meningioma on the brain? Well, hate to tell you, but no one is feeling sorry for you. First Descents is here to empower you to begin "outliving it."

Climbing Cancer Mountain

Marjorie Malpass | Posted 02.10.2013 | Healthy Living
Marjorie Malpass

Challenged by the river, I learned that the trick to kayaking is the same trick I used to navigate my illness -- you flow. Fighting against the current lands you upside-down, underwater, with your head bouncing against rocks.

Finding Meaning Through Adventure for Young Adults With Cancer

Brad Ludden | Posted 01.26.2013 | Healthy Living
Brad Ludden

For young adults, cancer comes at a time when life is sweet and our awareness of our mortality is the furthest thing from our minds. A host of unique psychosocial challenges make it even more important to seek life, meaning and purpose, to reclaim it from cancer.

On Living Your Life Twice

Kelly Bergin | Posted 01.21.2013 | Healthy Living
Kelly Bergin

I've been sick since I was 10 months old. When I was diagnosed with cancer in college, the trauma of the illness just added another layer to something I already knew. Living your life twice is no easy feat. But that's what I am trying to do.

To Get Ahead, Give a Lot

Brad Ludden | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Brad Ludden

Give to people who need it a hell of a lot more than they do. The wealth that is gained by giving far surpasses any amount of dollar signs and replenishes your "soul" account.